Star Matt Lucas throws a ‘tantrum’ to support our early years campaign

Theirworld Ambassador Matt Lucas appears in a new film to launch our Global Tantrum

A hilarious video with a powerful message has kicked off Theirworld’s Global Tantrum – a protest over the lack of action by world leaders on early years care and education.

Matt Lucas – actor, comedian, writer and Theirworld Ambassador – adopts the tactics of an angry toddler by crawling on his hands and knees, barking orders, throwing around furniture and screaming: “I am NOT having a tantrum.”

The former Great British Bake Off presenter is the first of several celebrities from different countries who will appear in short films for the Global Tantrum, which is part of Theirworld’s Act for Early Years campaign.

We are spotlighting how leaders are letting down the world’s youngest children by failing to invest in crucial childcare and education in the first few years of their life. We will take the Global Tantrum to the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September to raise awareness.

Watch Matt’s tantrum

Matt said: “The world’s littlest children are never in the room when big decisions are made about them. They’re completely invisible – and that’s not fair. I’m helping to give a voice to children who are unable to advocate for themselves.

“Early years support is so important for a children’s life chances and it’s a tragedy that millions go without the quality care and early learning they need.”

You can play your part too in the Global Tantrum. Matt’s tantrum is available for you to share on social media and spread the word about our Act For Early Years campaign.

Share Matt’s tantrum

Young children can also send their own messages to leaders. Children under eight can join the Global Tantrum by submitting a Tantrum Poster.

Family and teachers can share the posters online and we will also take them to world leaders at the UN General Assembly in September.

Make a poster

This isn’t the first time that Matt has channelled his inner child for Theirworld. In 2017, he revived his much-loved character George Dawes – complete with pink onesie – as part of our #5for5 campaign, which called on world leaders to prioritise five crucial interventions needed for children aged 0 to 5.

In 2018, G20 countries made a ground-breaking commitment to the world’s youngest children – but those have gone off track. Today more than half of the world’s children – about 350 million – have no access to childcare and 175 million are not enrolled in pre-primary education.

Theirworld’s Act For Early Years campaign is calling for world leaders again to prioritise investment in the early years. There is overwhelming evidence that, without proper support, children are at risk of going through life with poorer physical and mental health and will face an uphill struggle to learn and to earn a living as adults.

Theirworld Chair Sarah Brown said: “The first few years of a child’s life are vital. It’s when 90% of their brain develops – but it’s also when inequality sets in through lack of quality care and early learning for all children.

“I feel the same way that lovely Matt Lucas does – the full frustration and tantrum-inducing urge to throw things to get attention for this urgent issue.

“Today the youngest children around the world are not being heard by world leaders, so we are taking on the tactics of the toddler and organising a Global Tantrum as a way of getting heard! It’s a fun campaign but on a serious issue.

“We need a global revolution in early years provision to ensure that all children get the best start in life. It is our responsibility to drive this change and give a voice to the millions of children currently being let down. It’s time to stand up for the early years, even if it means having a tantrum!”